Holding Operational Commando

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Holding Operational Commando
Private E.F. Abrahams, from Pennyfields, London E14, was a member of the original Commando Association.
Commando Association Lost Legions List 3.

BAILEY, Arthur Charles

1 Special Service (Commando) Brigade
Died in the UK

Gunner Arthur Bailey was found dead on Westhampnett Lane Chichester, a road leading to Goodwood.  Ambulance men at the scene found that he had fractured his skull and it was later ascertained that he had fallen from a lorry in which he was a passenger.


Holding Operational Commando
Served on the staff at the H.O.C. Wrexham as the Heavy Weapons Instructor for 'S' Troop.
[Source: Commando Association newsletter 42 issued 1966].

BLAKE, Alfred Lapthorn

2 Special Service (Commando) Brigade
Knight Commander Royal Victorian Order (KCVO)
Military Cross (MC)
Mentioned in Despatches
Major Alfred Blake was posted to Brigade HQ (3rd Special Service Brigade) when the Special Service Group was restructured in August 1943 [1]

BYE, Francis Clifford Edward

Holding Operational Commando
3 Cdo. Bde. RM
Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
Lieutenant Francis Clifford Edward Bye served in the Holding Operational Commando in April 1945 [1].
  • May 1966 to July 1967 Commanding Officer 45 Commando [2].
  • 1 January 1968 (Lieutenant Colonel) appointed O.B.E. (Military Division) [3].

CHARLTON, Thomas Albert

Holding Operational Commando
George Medal (GM)

Private Thomas Albert Charlton served in the Holding Operational Commando (HOC).  Post war he served as a Lieutenant in the Federation of Malaya Police Force.  Police Lieutenant Charlton was awarded the George Medal on the 24th April 1951 for his gallantry whilst serving in the Malay Police.

DALY, Thomas

Thomas Daly 12 Commando
No 12 Commando
Holding Operational Commando

Thomas Daly served in No.12 Commando HQ from April 1941 and after No.12 was disbanded on the staff at the Holding Operational Commando until April 1946.
Read more in Linked Content below.

FREEMAN, John Haughton

Major John Freeman SAUDF
48RM Commando
Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
Mentioned in Despatches
Major John Freeman, S.A.U.D.F. was attached to 48RM Commando HQ during the Normany invasion [1]. He received a Mention in Despatches for good services while operating with the Army in NW Europe [2].
October 1944 Holding Operational Commando [3].
12 February 1946 apppointed M.B.E. (Military Division) [4].

HURST, Arthur

Commando Basic Training Centre
Holding Operational Commando
Post war member of the Commando Association from Leicester.
[Source: Commando Association newsletter 36 issued March 1963].


Commando Basic Training Centre
Holding Operational Commando
Fusilier Bill Magennis served in the Pipe Band at Achnacarry, and in the HOC. 
Extract from Commando Association newsletter 40 issued March 1965
Now Pipe Major of the lst Bn. Black Watch (R.H.R.) of Canada and stationed at Camp Gagetown, New Brunswick is ex Fus. Bill Magennis who served in the Commando Pipe Band at Achnacarry.

MCGONIGAL, Ambrose Joseph

Ambrose McGonigal MC
No 12 Commando
Military Cross (MC)
Bar to the Military Cross
Mentioned in Despatches
Lieutenant Ambrose McGonigal was awarded the M.C. [1] for distinguished service during a raid on the enemy held island of Sark on the night of the 27th December 1943. This was a reconnaissance operation to obtain certain information and if possible capture a prisoner.

PARSONS, James, M.

Holding Operational Commando

Post war member of the Commando Association. Vice Chairman of their General Committee from 1997 to 1999, and Chairman 1999/2000.


Commando Association newsletters 104, 106, 108, 109, 110, 111.

SILLITOE, Frederick Roy

42 Cdo. RM
Mentioned in Despatches
Lieutenant Frederick Sillitoe was serving at the RM Holding Commando in April 1945 [1].
  • 1956 (Captain) (42 Commando RM) Mentioned in Despatches for gallant and distinguished services in operations at Suez between October and December [2].

TARRANT, George Francis

Died in the UK

Private George Tarrant died in the UK.  His status at the Holding Operational Commando is not known. He is buried in a joint grave with Rfn. George William Tucker, aged 31, Royal Ulster Rifles.

[Source: CWGC Grave Registration report]

WOOLLEY, Arthur Rupert (Lt. Col)

30 Commando Assault Unit
Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Arthur Woolley joined the Royal Marines on 1 December 1939 and after his basic training was posted to the 5th Batallion Royal Marines Brigade.
  • Promoted Temporary Captain April 1940, Acting Temporary Major November 1941, and Second in Command of 5RM in June 1942.

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